How to Erect Your Timber Frame Garage or Carport

SolidLox© is a simplified, quick and easy to erect, professional standard timber frame post and beam kit. For best results it is advisable for erection to be carried out by appropriately experienced construction trades people, or by highly experienced DIY’ers under supervision.

The installation instructions on this page are a sub-set of the fully detailed instructions you will receive with your kit and are provided for you to assess whether self erection will be appropriate for you.

Foundations

Foundations for Timber Frame GarageFoundations do not form part of the SolidLox© standard service package, although they may be available in some locations. It is recommended that homeowners, builders, or developers should arrange for these to be provided in advance of the delivery of their SolidLox©

The type of foundation that you choose (e.g. strip, trench fill, raft, or pad) will be informed by ground conditions, frost heave, nearby trees and other vegetation, ground slopes, recent landfill, clay, sandstone, loamy soil, water table and the structural load of the building.

To save costs it is also advisable to consider the width and depth of excavation, concrete thickness, and relationship of concrete slab (if selected) to finished ground level. Any deliberate design slope, or fall, in the floor surface should also be considered in relation to drainage.

If a foundation slab is to be laid, ensure that this is either absolutely level, or that it exactly follows and specified fall / slope that may be required, e.g. to allow any water to drain off.  This accuracy is important, since it will affect your post and beam frame erection.

If possible, ensure that suitable foundations, concrete base, or post pads have been constructed in accordance with Building Regulation requirements before the delivery of your SolidLox© kit. Also make sure that the site is kept as safe as possible by ensuring that all excavations are properly backfilled and consolidated. Barriers should also be used to prevent people falling in.

Delivery & Unloading

SolidLox© kits are usually delivered by 40ft articulated lorry for unloading by the customer. Alternative vehicles may be available if required, e.g. for restricted access, but may incur a small surcharge. Delivery will usually be to kerbside, but at the drivers discretion may be onto any hard surface. Up to 1 hour is allowed for unloading, after which the transport company may ask for an additional charge.

Components should be placed on a firm, dry, hard standing and set slightly off the ground to avoid possible damage from any water collection. Care should be taken to stack these safely, avoiding any risk of slipping, falling over, displacement, or projection that could cause injury to people, or damage to the components.

Consideration of location of storage in relation to likely sequence of use / erection can make assembly significantly easier, quicker and safer.

If being stored for a period before erection, it is recommended that they be covered with waterproof sheeting in such a manner as to allow air circulation between timbers.

Setting Out

Setting Out for Erection
Example of Post base Setting Out Plan

  • Mark out the central position of each post on your foundations
  • Check the diagonal measurements from corner to corner of the outside posts to ensure that the layout is square.
  • Check that all post base foundations are level, or follow any specified fall (see foundations – we suggest using a laser level)

 

Checking Kit Content, Fit and Initial 'Loose Assembly'

After checking that all components have been delivered, per the delivery advice note, as a rough check that you have everything you need lay them out in the manner that you will use them over the foundation area, e.g.

  •       - External beams around outside of foundation area.
  •       - Internal beams where they are to go across foundation area
  •       - Posts laying out (or in, if insufficient space) from post base positions
  •       - Braces in positions where they will connect to posts and beams (this will only be where there are no walls)
  •       - Post shrouds by the adjustable post bases (4 parts per shroud)

 

Once laid out you will be able to check that all posts and beams are correct for your project.

It is suggested that an initial  ‘loose assembly’ approach is taken, fitting all components correctly, but not finally tightening up or fixing anything until the post and beam base frame has been fully assembled and checked for line, level and plum.  This will enable any adjustments needed, e.g. for out of level foundations, to be more easily made. 

Now you've got your parts laid out and confirmed everything is present its time to start erecting the frame

Placing Posts

Placing the Posts
Schematic of Posts ‘stood up’ on bases

  • Mark the positions for each hole required for fixing down the adjustable post base to the foundation.
  • Depending on the type of holding down fixing to be used, drill any holes required and set any bolts / studs being used in these.
  • Stand up a corner post in the correct position on its post base, using any bolts/studs already set into the foundation to locate this. Use 2 lengths of timber as braces to temporarily hold this in an upright position.
  • Stand up the next post to this in on the shortest side in the same manner
  • Check that both sides of each post to see that these are plumb on both vertical planes.
  • Using an appropriate safe and secure platform, check that the tops of the posts are level
  • Adjust top of post height if required by rotating the post on its base plate.
  • Firm up the temporary bracing to hold them in this position.
  • Check that the posts and braces do not create a potential accident risk
  • Loose fit any holding down nuts or bolts

Fitting Beams

Fitting Beams
Schematic of Assembled Post & Beam Frame

  • Using an appropriate, safe and secure platform, lift up the beam to fit between the posts and place this onto the special beam fixings, pushing this down into the fully secured position.
  • If necessary use a mallet / rubber hammer to tap the beam down.
  • Check that the beam is level.
  • Follow the same procedures to erect the remainder of the post and beam frame.
  • This applies to the internal beams.

Where more than one ‘bay’ is being erected, if possible erect the first rectangular bay and proceed by adding subsequent bays in sequence.

Fitting Corner Braces

Fitting Corner Braces
Schematic of P&B Frame fitted with Corner Braces Over Openings

  • Depending on the type of frame ordered, you may have a traditional pegged brace fixing, or a modified shoulder brace fixing which may use mortice, plate and screw.
  • Corner braces are only fitted where there is an opening, not where walls are to be erected. Use 2 stainless settle screws to fix shoulder braces to back of beams.
  • Fit each corner brace according to the type provided between the posts and beams.
  • Each brace should fit snuggly against the surface of the post and beam.
  • Loose secure with pegs, bolts or screws as appropriate.
  • If you have traditional pegged joints for these corner braces, loose fit the bottom block under the brace in the post.

You've got your Frame up so now it's time to:

ONLY APPLICABLE FOR ROOM IN ROOF MODELS

Floor Joists

Fitting Floor Joists
Schematic of Joists set in position

  • Joists are normally set at 600mm centres, but in the case of very long spans this may be reduced to 400mm or even 300mm centres, in which case a joist layout plan may have been provided.
  • Using an appropriate safe and secure platform, lift and set each joist in position and screw the top of the joist diagonally though the end into the beams. Use one screw from one side at the top, and another screw from the other side at the bottom.
  • If any access way is required through the joists, e.g. for a stairway, take out one or more joists in the appropriate position/s, create any double joists that may be required to the sides of the opening, and cut and fit any trimmer joists needed across the opening.

Joist Noggins / Blockings

Fitting Joist Noggins
Schematic of Joist Blockings fixed in position

  • Depending on what the floor is to be used for, with spans over 3m noggins or blockings may be required between joists to stabilise these, Over 4m 2 rows of noggins / blockings may be required.
  • These should be fixed vertically between joists and between the end joists and the beams to provide a tight joist frame.

Floor Deck

  • Mark where the inside of the bird mouths on the rafters will meet the external beams and draw a line around these to indicate the position.
  • Starting in one corner, lay the floor deck over the joists and beam up to the line of the back of the rafters. Depending on what type of flooring is being laid, glue beams & joists and screw the outside edges of the floor deck firmly to the beams and the adjacent joists.
  • Lay the remainder of the floor deck in the same way, taking care to support any butted junctions in cut edges with noggins underneath the joint and between the joists. Glue and screw as necessary.
  • If chipboard decking is being used with a weatherproof glue, ensure that the T&G edges are properly glued and that when the boards are pressed tightly together, the glue is squeezed above the top of the board to prevent water ingress.

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